(collection of Lauren Linowitz)
"Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?"~ David Attenborough
Is there anyone who doesn't adore birds? Despite the regal beauty of the peacock, maybe the mating season squawk of the King of the Birds (thank you, Flannery O'Connor) in the backyard would not be so welcome on a regular basis. Having said that, I used to live in a place where my neighbor's peacocks would occasionally wander onto my property and—squawks and all—I never tired of the surreal vision of looking out my window and seeing them walking about. Even though some birds have calls that may not be so attractive, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would denounce a creature so elegant, expressive, and profound.
Sooner or later, it seems, any artist who uses imagery will want to paint birds. And why not of course? Birds are fascinating and changeable and exotic in more than a few hundred ways. Perhaps DaVinci planted the seed, translating into exquisite drawings, his fascination with the flight of birds along with his need to dissect their inner workings.
I absolutely intersect with DaVinci on the love of bird anatomy. But the forms fascinate me more than the science. They are so delicate and thin-boned and remind me so much of the fragility of everything. As if they are the gauzy curtain between worlds. And yet, what powerful creatures they are, seducing us with their ability to soar.
There is a persistent romance about birds that speaks to desire and longing. Seeing their migratory lines in the sky always causes me to remember my seeker-self. I instinctively whisper Have a great trip! or Take me with you! as they pass overhead.
While flight is a bird's cherry-top of distinction, their lovely parts are also extremely worthy, both as beautiful objects and iconography. Reams of romantic poetry and delicate pen and ink renderings have included the graceful and noble feather. And wings! Endlessly used as metaphor, symbol and seal, an image of a wing moves something in us and reminds us we are more than we think we are and to strive for the deepest connection we can with the world.